Acting students devise plays for youngsters

Performing Arts students at South Essex College have produced engaging performances to raise emotional health awareness with local schoolchildren. 

The students, who are studying Level 3 Performing Arts (Acting) at the college’s Southend Campus, have worked in groups to each produce 10-minute performances.

The students, part of the college’s Nu.Dynamic Theatre Company, have developed a range of performances touching on several topics including bullying, peer pressure and mental health. They will showcase their productions at local schools later this month.

This project is part of a collaboration which was set up more than ten years ago by South Essex College tutor Sarah Doney, Margaret Evans and Lisa Holloway from Southend Council, and PC Gary Collard.

Each play uses physical theatre and original devised stories to inform the audience about emotional health and where they can go for support and guidance.

Last year the students performed to more than 5,000 young people. They received excellent feedback from schools with regards to the quality of the plays and the professional behaviour of the students.

Tutor Gavin Bell said the project provides an excellent opportunity for the Level 3 Acting students to work to a live brief set by Southend Council.  

He said: “The work experience is invaluable as the young actors get an insight into creating and performing to a target audience – just like they would in the industry.  

“The arts are so important when engaging young people in important themes and our students have worked tirelessly to ensure their performances educate, engage and entertain. Both Sarah Doney and I are very proud of them.”

Nu.Dynamic Theatre Company students will be touring in primary, junior and additional needs schools on Monday 13 and Tuesday 14 January.

To find out about performing arts courses at the college, visit